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text 2018-10-08 15:56
Reading progress update: I've read 81%.
The Mermaid's Madness - Jim C. Hines

Perhaps current events are shaping my reaction to this book but I'm struck by the vein of sadness that runs through the book whenever we get to how these women have been treated by the powerful, especially powerful men. The book is filled with strong women but almost all of them have been damaged or at least wounded by their encounters with people who fail to see them as fully human.

 

I admire JIm C. Hines' ability to write a rollicking tale with mermaids and selkies and sea battles that has a fast pace and is lubricated with humour and yet still bring the reader back time and again to realistic sources of pain.

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review 2018-09-30 21:18
"The Stepsister Scheme - Princess #1" by Jim C Hines - Highly Recommended
The Stepsister Scheme - Jim C. Hines

"The Stepsister Scheme" is one of the few books recently that I've stayed up until the early hours to finish. It was a lot of fun. It was quirky, original, not afraid to handle dark themes but ultimately powered by selfless bravery and optimism.

 

"The Stepsister Scheme" tells the tale of three Princesses who set out to rescue a handsome Prince. These are not Disney Princesses with phenomenal hair, over-large eyes and chart-topping singing voices. These are Princesses who have survived the appalling abuse handed out to them in the original Grimm fairy tales and have gone on to become resourceful, talented, dangerous women who won't necessarily get to live happily ever after.

 

You'll recognise the three Princesses as the story unfolds, but you won't have seen this side of them before. Jim Hines presents his Princesses with a wonderful mix of humour, tension, excitement and I-want-to-stand-up-and-applaud originality that is a joy to read.

 

This is a story that seldom went where I expected it to go. It was humorous, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but the humour was a gloss on a tale about the strength it takes for young women to survive the things that people do to them.

 

The Fairies in this book are the stuff of nightmare rather than bedtime stories. There is violence and cruelty and more violence. There are men in the story but they are necessary to the plot, not central to the story-telling The worst and the best characters in this book are all female and they are all formidable. 

 

The world-building is solid, the pacing is good, the ideas are original and the action scenes are tense and exciting. And all of this is has a big bow of humour tied around it to make you smile even when blood is being spilt.

 

Reading Jim Hines, I feel I've found another talent as original and energetic as Terry Pratchett, only with all the books still ahead of me.

 

I read his trope-twisting Sci-Fi novel "Terminal Alliance.- Janitors of the Post-apocalypse " and enjoyed it. I only discovered his fantasy novels when I was searching for something to read for the "Grimm Tales" square in Halloween Bingo over on BookLikes. Now I'm hooked. I've already started the second book in the series.

 

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text 2018-09-30 09:08
Reading progress update: I've read 2%. I'm binge-reading Jim C Hines for Halloween Bingo
The Mermaid's Madness - Jim C. Hines

JIm C Hines wasn't on my Bingo list at the start. A couple of people put me on to his blog and twitter feed. Then I stumbled over "The Stepsister Scheme" which I've just finished and which kept me up last night to finish it. 

 

I feel like I've found a new Terry Pratchett and with many, many books I haven't read yet.

 

So I'm not leaving a gap, even though I know I should, I'm going on to the next book in the series - this one.

 

Better yet, I'm using it for the "Fear The Drowning Deep" square which, up to now, has been my least favourite.

 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and read about three princesses that I've grown quite attached to.

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text 2018-09-29 22:07
Reading progress update: I've read 59%.
The Stepsister Scheme - Jim C. Hines

This continues to produce surprising ideas as well as making me smile. I'd love to see this as a TV series. It would be so good to have a fantasy series where the main characters good and bad are all women. Plus, I'd love to see who they cast as the three Princesses.

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text 2018-09-28 05:01
Reading progress update: I've read 11%. - Wow! Why did nobody tell me about this book?
The Stepsister Scheme - Jim C. Hines

These days, Princesses are everywhere. Disney Princesses with phenomenal hair, over-large eyes and chart-topping singing voices.

 

"The Stepsister Scheme" has three Princesses in it but they're nothing like Disney Princesses. They're more like women. Talented, resourceful, dangerous women.

 

You know them but you don't know this side of them.

 

Jim Hines manages a wonderful mix of humour, tension, excitement and I-want-to-stand-up-and-applaud originality that is a joy to read.

 

Thank goodness for the Grimm Tales square on Halloween Bingo or I might never have found this.

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